How to Winterize Your Plumbing System

The key to winterizing your plumbing system is to make sure no pipes inside the house freeze. Several things can be done to prevent pipes from freezing, including shutting off and draining outside hose faucets and heating and insulating pipes that require it.

How to Shut Off and Drain Outside Hose Faucets
Find shut off valves inside house for each outside hose faucet and turn them off. Disconnect all hoses from outside faucets. Open all outside faucets. Leave all outside faucets open all winter.

Methods for Heating Pipes
Heat tape is a electrical device that you wrap around your pipes and then plug into an outlet. The electricity keeps the pipes warm enough to avoid freezing. In some cases, on very cold days and nights, it may be wise to just leave a cabinet or closet or crawl space door open to let heat from the room enter.

Conserving Water and Cutting Your Water Bill by Locating Leaks

Leaky plumbing can cost hundreds of dollars on your water bill. There are a few places to look when trying to find leaks. Toilets can be a major source of leaks. The flapper or seal that keeps the water in the tank can be faulty causing a steady drip or stream of water to leak down into the bowl. This also causes the fill valve to come on periodically to refill the tank. Leaky faucets should be fixed or replaced. Many times outside hose faucets are overlooked. They should be checked carefully for drips.

Garbage Disposal Wisdom

A few simple tips will help your garbage disposal operate like it should for years to come. 1. Run disposal with cold water – not hot. 2. Run water approximately 15 seconds after grinding is finished. 3. Don’t pour grease into disposal. 4. Avoid grinding fibrous materials such as celery or corn husks. 5. Don’t grind too many vegetable peels at once. Put them in gradually while disposal and water are both running. 6. Don’t pour coffee grinds into disposal.